Posted on: June 12, 2013
Prostate Cancer: When Should Men Get Screened?
by Josh Fink, MD
In the last few years, the advice on prostate cancer screening has been very confusing for patients, and front of mind for internists and urologists. It’s a pressing concern because in 2012 there were 28,000 deaths from prostate cancer. However, the best approach to screening is still controversial.
In 2009 and 2012, researchers published key trials on prostate cancer screening, and the results only added to the controversy. A large study done in the United States failed to find a benefit to early prostate cancer detection, whereas a large European study did. However, when I say the European study “did” find a benefit, it wasn’t that reassuring. According to a February issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, the European study found that for every 1,000 men screened, 37 cases of cancer would need to be detected and treated to prevent one death.